This article may be American, but the advice can help us Brits too...
I think frugality often gets a bad rap. Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that cutting costs means depriving oneself of the good things in life.
Not true! The practice of frugality itself can bring real pleasure, and enrich our lives in myriad ways. In fact, sometimes there’s nothing like a great deal, averted expense, or creative use of resources to make your day.
With that in mind, I decided to compile a list of my Top Ten Frugal Pleasures—please chime in and let me know yours!
1. Shopping my closet. I almost always find some forgotten “gem” in there that I can bring back into regular rotation.
2. Borrowing and lending things. Avoids the hassle and expense of ownership, and just gives me a warm fuzzy every time.
3. Borrowing books from the library. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, but it will never cease to delight me that I can read a book absolutely free.
4. Finding a good coupon. Before I buy anything, I look online for an applicable coupon. When I find one (whether it’s $1 off or free shipping), I feel like I’ve scored a little victory.
5. Comparison shopping online. I’m not the type to drive all over town looking for a good deal, so I love that I can achieve the same result with just a few minutes on my laptop.
6. Reducing my utility bills. Call me geeky, but I get a little thrill out of using less kWh this month than last.
7. Tracking my expenses. I’m a bit of a data junkie, so I actually enjoy tracking my expenses and crunching the numbers each month.
8. Bartering. I recently traded some web design services for a tailoring job. It’s very cool to meet your needs without exchanging money.
9. Driving my non-status car. I love how my car makes no statement about my aspirations or net worth. A little mystery is always appealing.
10. Attending free events. I’ve met interesting people, expanded my horizons—and generally had a blast—going to festivals, outdoor concerts, and other community events.